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"The Hunt for Gollum" movie

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  • David Bratman
    It is online at . Anyone interested in sharing or reading reactions, or would that still be spoilers at
    Message 1 of 13 , May 5, 2009
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      It is online at <http://thehuntforgollum.s3.amazonaws.com/index.html>. Anyone interested in sharing or reading reactions, or would that still be spoilers at this point? (Not that the outcome is a big surprise or anything like that.)
    • Doug Kane
      I watched it, and honestly I found it pretty distasteful. It seemed like a cheesy take-off on Jackson s films, with only the most superficial connection to
      Message 2 of 13 , May 5, 2009
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        I watched it, and honestly I found it pretty distasteful. It seemed like a cheesy take-off on Jackson's films, with only the most superficial connection to anything that Tolkien wrote. I thought some of the things that were straight out of the Jackson films were downright silly. And at least one thing that directly contradicted Tolkien in quite an important way (without even the bad excuse of supposedly serving the plot in some way, as was the case with even the worst of Jackson et al.'s deviations from Tolkien's story).

        I won't say any more at this point because I don't want to give spoiler information to anyone who may still wish to watch it. I do know others who were impressed by it, so I certainly encourage others to judge it for themselves and not take my word for it.

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: David Bratman
        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Tuesday, May 05, 2009 2:17 PM
        Subject: [mythsoc] "The Hunt for Gollum" movie





        It is online at <http://thehuntforgollum.s3.amazonaws.com/index.html>. Anyone interested in sharing or reading reactions, or would that still be spoilers at this point? (Not that the outcome is a big surprise or anything like that.)




        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Alana Joli Abbott
        Doug, I d be interested in hearing your detailed thoughts at some point, when we feel an appropriate spoiler period has passed. :) -Alana ... -- Alana Joli
        Message 3 of 13 , May 5, 2009
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          Doug, I'd be interested in hearing your detailed thoughts at some point,
          when we feel an appropriate "spoiler" period has passed. :)

          -Alana

          On Tue, May 5, 2009 at 5:50 PM, Doug Kane <dougkane@...>wrote:

          > <Doug said, among other things>
          >
          > And at least one thing that directly contradicted Tolkien in quite an
          > important way (without even the bad excuse of supposedly serving the plot in
          > some way, as was the case with even the worst of Jackson et al.'s deviations
          > from Tolkien's story).
          > .
          >
          >
          >


          --
          Alana Joli Abbott, Freelance Writer and Editor (
          http://www.virgilandbeatrice.com)
          Author of "Nomi's Wish" (
          http://coyotewildmag.com/2008/august/abbott_nomis_wish.html), featured in
          Coyote Wild Magazine
          Contributor to Serenity Adventures: http://tinyurl.com/serenity-adventures
          Contributor to Ransom: The Anthology: http://tinyurl.com/ransombook
          --
          For updates on my writings, join my mailing list at
          http://groups.google.com/group/alanajoliabbottfans


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Jason Fisher
          All I ll say for now is I appreciated the effort (to a point), but honestly, I found it boring. And not quite as lush and impressive as advance word had led me
          Message 4 of 13 , May 5, 2009
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            All I'll say for now is I appreciated the effort (to a point), but honestly, I found it boring. And not quite as lush and impressive as advance word had led me to expect. And I say this as a fan of the Peter Jackson films, FWIW.


            Jason

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Doug Kane
            I too am a fan of the Jackson films, at least as compared to David. Of course, that is damning with faint praise. ; ) Alana, I ll wait a couple of days and
            Message 5 of 13 , May 5, 2009
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              I too am a fan of the Jackson films, at least as compared to David. Of course, that is damning with faint praise. ; )

              Alana, I'll wait a couple of days and then post some further thoughts if no one states that that they mind. The particular point that I was referring to comes almost at the very end, and while I doubt that it would seriously ruin anyone's viewing experiences, I have seen some awfully strong reactions to what I thought was fairly innocuous spoilers before.

              ----- Original Message -----
              From: Jason Fisher
              To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Tuesday, May 05, 2009 3:04 PM
              Subject: [mythsoc] Re: "The Hunt for Gollum" movie





              All I'll say for now is I appreciated the effort (to a point), but honestly, I found it boring. And not quite as lush and impressive as advance word had led me to expect. And I say this as a fan of the Peter Jackson films, FWIW.

              Jason

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Alana Joli Abbott
              Definitely, waiting a few days seems like a good idea. I m not anti-spoiler myself, but I don t want to step on anyone s spoiler-free toes! ;) -Alana ... --
              Message 6 of 13 , May 5, 2009
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                Definitely, waiting a few days seems like a good idea. I'm not anti-spoiler
                myself, but I don't want to step on anyone's spoiler-free toes! ;)

                -Alana

                On Tue, May 5, 2009 at 6:30 PM, Doug Kane <dougkane@...>wrote:

                > Alana, I'll wait a couple of days and then post some further thoughts if
                > no one states that that they mind. The particular point that I was referring
                > to comes almost at the very end, and while I doubt that it would seriously
                > ruin anyone's viewing experiences, I have seen some awfully strong reactions
                > to what I thought was fairly innocuous spoilers before.
                >
                > .
                >
                >
                >



                --
                Alana Joli Abbott, Freelance Writer and Editor (
                http://www.virgilandbeatrice.com)
                Author of "Nomi's Wish" (
                http://coyotewildmag.com/2008/august/abbott_nomis_wish.html), featured in
                Coyote Wild Magazine
                Contributor to Serenity Adventures: http://tinyurl.com/serenity-adventures
                Contributor to Ransom: The Anthology: http://tinyurl.com/ransombook
                --
                For updates on my writings, join my mailing list at
                http://groups.google.com/group/alanajoliabbottfans


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • John D Rateliff
                I think it s telling that they went to great lengths to reproduce the look of the Peter Jackson films, to the extent of casting actors based on their
                Message 7 of 13 , May 5, 2009
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                  I think it's telling that they went to great lengths to reproduce the
                  look of the Peter Jackson films, to the extent of casting actors
                  based on their resemblance to Jackson's cast. I'm reminded of The
                  Mamas and the Papas, who at one point fired Michelle Phillips and
                  replaced her with a woman who looked like her, not one who sounded
                  like her.

                  I think these people spent an enormous amount of time and effort
                  producing a 34-minute piece of fan-fiction; if it were in print
                  rather than on film it wouldn't stand out from among thousands of
                  other examples.

                  An amazing piece of mimicry, though.

                  __JDR


                  On May 5, 2009, at 2:17 PM, David Bratman wrote:
                  > It is online at <http://thehuntforgollum.s3.amazonaws.com/
                  > index.html>. Anyone interested in sharing or reading reactions, or
                  > would that still be spoilers at this point? (Not that the outcome
                  > is a big surprise or anything like that.)
                • David Bratman
                  One-line review: Don t bother. More boring than Peter Jackson at only a quarter the length. How to make a movie of The Hunt for Gollum (down below, spoiler
                  Message 8 of 13 , May 7, 2009
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                    One-line review: Don't bother. More boring than Peter Jackson at only a
                    quarter the length.

                    How to make a movie of "The Hunt for Gollum" (down below, "spoiler" alert):






















                    1. Peter Jackson begins his film with a Portentious Backstory, so begin your
                    film with a Portentious Backstory.

                    2. Peter Jackson makes a solemn action-adventure film while minimizing
                    Tolkien's moral underpinnings, so by all means make a solemn
                    action-adventure film without any moral underpinnings. You've got your good
                    guys and your bad guys, so leave it at that.

                    3. Peter Jackson's Aragorn mumbles, so your Aragorn should mumble.

                    4. Let's not even talk about the Orcs.

                    5. Jackson's Gandalf was too shiny, so dress your Gandalf in an old sack.

                    6. When filming an indoor conversation, take your production values from old
                    Dr. Who serials, and your extras from science fiction conventions.

                    7. When filming two people sneaking up on each other in the woods, take your
                    mise-en-scène from the "Those We Do Not Speak Of" sequences of M. Night
                    Shyamalan's The Village.

                    8. When you finally show Gollum close up, show either your independence from
                    Peter Jackson, or your inability to follow him closely enough, by modeling
                    Gollum not on Andy Serkis, but on Anthony Hopkins playing Hannibal Lecter.

                    9. Introduce a Ranger whom Aragorn has never met, and who has only vaguely
                    heard of his own Chieftain.

                    10. Have Aragorn carry Gollum around in a sack that Serkis's (or Tolkien's,
                    for that matter) Gollum could easily have torn his way out of in one minute.
                    (Tolkien's Aragorn made Gollum walk in front of him with a halter; this is
                    obviously impossible if you're using a CGI Gollum and have virtually no CGI
                    budget. But then, why does Gollum have to be CGI? Because Peter Jackson is
                    God?)

                    11. Have Gollum steal fish from the Woodsmen's windowsills instead of
                    drinking blood from cradles. Stabbing orcs is one thing, but this is just
                    icky. Do not ask what the Woodsmen put the raw fish on the windowsill for.
                    To cool off?

                    12. Foreshadowing! Have Aragorn see a Nazgul and tell Gandalf about it, even
                    though neither of them should have any idea yet that the Nine are abroad.

                    13. It's the beginning of a Dark Age, so film everything Really Dark.

                    14. It is imperative to follow the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fight rule: if
                    the hero must single-handedly defeat a troupe of bad guys, the bad guys are
                    required to attack him only one at a time. Everybody else has to stand
                    around and wait their turn.


                    [previously posted on LiveJournal]
                  • Jason Fisher
                    Very nice, David; many chuckles, especially #14. _______________________________ From: David Bratman To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent:
                    Message 9 of 13 , May 7, 2009
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                      Very nice, David; many chuckles, especially #14.


                      _______________________________
                      From: David Bratman <dbratman@...>
                      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Thursday, May 7, 2009 12:20:53 PM
                      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] "The Hunt for Gollum" movie


                      One-line review: Don't bother. More boring than Peter Jackson at only a
                      quarter the length.

                      How to make a movie of "The Hunt for Gollum" (down below, "spoiler" alert):

                      1. Peter Jackson begins his film with a Portentious Backstory, so begin your
                      film with a Portentious Backstory.

                      2. Peter Jackson makes a solemn action-adventure film while minimizing
                      Tolkien's moral underpinnings, so by all means make a solemn
                      action-adventure film without any moral underpinnings. You've got your good
                      guys and your bad guys, so leave it at that.

                      3. Peter Jackson's Aragorn mumbles, so your Aragorn should mumble.

                      4. Let's not even talk about the Orcs.

                      5. Jackson's Gandalf was too shiny, so dress your Gandalf in an old sack.

                      6. When filming an indoor conversation, take your production values from old
                      Dr. Who serials, and your extras from science fiction conventions.

                      7. When filming two people sneaking up on each other in the woods, take your
                      mise-en-scène from the "Those We Do Not Speak Of" sequences of M. Night
                      Shyamalan's The Village.

                      8. When you finally show Gollum close up, show either your independence from
                      Peter Jackson, or your inability to follow him closely enough, by modeling
                      Gollum not on Andy Serkis, but on Anthony Hopkins playing Hannibal Lecter.

                      9. Introduce a Ranger whom Aragorn has never met, and who has only vaguely
                      heard of his own Chieftain.

                      10. Have Aragorn carry Gollum around in a sack that Serkis's (or Tolkien's,
                      for that matter) Gollum could easily have torn his way out of in one minute.
                      (Tolkien's Aragorn made Gollum walk in front of him with a halter; this is
                      obviously impossible if you're using a CGI Gollum and have virtually no CGI
                      budget. But then, why does Gollum have to be CGI? Because Peter Jackson is
                      God?)

                      11. Have Gollum steal fish from the Woodsmen's windowsills instead of
                      drinking blood from cradles. Stabbing orcs is one thing, but this is just
                      icky. Do not ask what the Woodsmen put the raw fish on the windowsill for.
                      To cool off?

                      12. Foreshadowing! Have Aragorn see a Nazgul and tell Gandalf about it, even
                      though neither of them should have any idea yet that the Nine are abroad.

                      13. It's the beginning of a Dark Age, so film everything Really Dark.

                      14. It is imperative to follow the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fight rule: if
                      the hero must single-handedly defeat a troupe of bad guys, the bad guys are
                      required to attack him only one at a time. Everybody else has to stand
                      around and wait their turn.

                      [previously posted on LiveJournal]

                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Doug Kane
                      It occurs to me that I never did add my additional thoughts. David said much of what I wanted to say (in a much more entertaining fashion than I would have).
                      Message 10 of 13 , May 10, 2009
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                        It occurs to me that I never did add my additional thoughts. David said
                        much of what I wanted to say (in a much more entertaining fashion than I
                        would have). I'll add just a couple of more comments, particularly the
                        specific item that I mentioned previously that I thought directly
                        contradicted Tolkien in an important way. Anyone who is still trying to
                        avoid spoilers don't read the final paragraph.

                        Before I get to that, I'll just mention that on a number of occasions I
                        noticed a number of scenes where there were either shots that mimicked shots
                        from the Jackson films or characters saying fragments of lines that were
                        said by other characters in the Jackson films that seemed to be done not to
                        serve the film in any way but simply as some kind of homage to Jackson's
                        films. I thought that was ridiculous. I'm sorry that I don't have any
                        specific examples to point; I didn't write them down at the time and it was
                        too long ago now and too unmemorable for me to remember any of them.

                        But at the end of the film, after Gollum is finally captured, Gandalf tells
                        Aragorn that Gollum's wretchedness was beyond their power to heal. That
                        contradicts what Gandalf actually says in the book, that there is not much
                        hope for his cure, but there is still some. And, of course, that small hope
                        of Gollum's cure is of critical importance to the story. The fact that these
                        filmmakers blithely contradict that (for no good reason that I can see)
                        shows a real disregard for Tolkien's work. They don't even have the bad
                        excuse that Jackson and company had for most of their deviations from
                        Tolkien's story that in some way the deviation served the plot that they
                        were telling in their movie (misguided though they might have been). This
                        line didn't serve the plot of this mini film in any way. It was just thrown
                        in their film as a throwaway line, I guess because they believed that in
                        Jackson's story it was true that Gollum was beyond redemption (which is
                        debatable in and of itself, though it still infuriates me that they left out
                        the tragic scene of Gollum's near redemption at the stairs of Cirith Ungol).

                        _____

                        From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                        David Bratman
                        Sent: Thursday, May 07, 2009 10:21 AM
                        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: Re: [mythsoc] "The Hunt for Gollum" movie





                        One-line review: Don't bother. More boring than Peter Jackson at only a
                        quarter the length.

                        How to make a movie of "The Hunt for Gollum" (down below, "spoiler" alert):

                        1. Peter Jackson begins his film with a Portentious Backstory, so begin your

                        film with a Portentious Backstory.

                        2. Peter Jackson makes a solemn action-adventure film while minimizing
                        Tolkien's moral underpinnings, so by all means make a solemn
                        action-adventure film without any moral underpinnings. You've got your good
                        guys and your bad guys, so leave it at that.

                        3. Peter Jackson's Aragorn mumbles, so your Aragorn should mumble.

                        4. Let's not even talk about the Orcs.

                        5. Jackson's Gandalf was too shiny, so dress your Gandalf in an old sack.

                        6. When filming an indoor conversation, take your production values from old

                        Dr. Who serials, and your extras from science fiction conventions.

                        7. When filming two people sneaking up on each other in the woods, take your

                        mise-en-scène from the "Those We Do Not Speak Of" sequences of M. Night
                        Shyamalan's The Village.

                        8. When you finally show Gollum close up, show either your independence from

                        Peter Jackson, or your inability to follow him closely enough, by modeling
                        Gollum not on Andy Serkis, but on Anthony Hopkins playing Hannibal Lecter.

                        9. Introduce a Ranger whom Aragorn has never met, and who has only vaguely
                        heard of his own Chieftain.

                        10. Have Aragorn carry Gollum around in a sack that Serkis's (or Tolkien's,
                        for that matter) Gollum could easily have torn his way out of in one minute.

                        (Tolkien's Aragorn made Gollum walk in front of him with a halter; this is
                        obviously impossible if you're using a CGI Gollum and have virtually no CGI
                        budget. But then, why does Gollum have to be CGI? Because Peter Jackson is
                        God?)

                        11. Have Gollum steal fish from the Woodsmen's windowsills instead of
                        drinking blood from cradles. Stabbing orcs is one thing, but this is just
                        icky. Do not ask what the Woodsmen put the raw fish on the windowsill for.
                        To cool off?

                        12. Foreshadowing! Have Aragorn see a Nazgul and tell Gandalf about it, even

                        though neither of them should have any idea yet that the Nine are abroad.

                        13. It's the beginning of a Dark Age, so film everything Really Dark.

                        14. It is imperative to follow the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fight rule: if
                        the hero must single-handedly defeat a troupe of bad guys, the bad guys are
                        required to attack him only one at a time. Everybody else has to stand
                        around and wait their turn.

                        [previously posted on LiveJournal]






                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • David Bratman
                        ... I don t remember exactly what the film says, either, but I don t see those two points as contradictory. Gandalf says that there is little hope, but not no
                        Message 11 of 13 , May 13, 2009
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                          From: "Doug Kane" <dougkane@...> wrote:

                          >But at the end of the film, after Gollum is finally captured, Gandalf tells
                          >Aragorn that Gollum's wretchedness was beyond their power to heal. That
                          >contradicts what Gandalf actually says in the book, that there is not much
                          >hope for his cure, but there is still some.

                          I don't remember exactly what the film says, either, but I don't see those
                          two points as contradictory. Gandalf says that there is little hope, but
                          not no hope, that the evil part of Gollum can be cured; but he doesn't say
                          that he can cure him. Gollum has to do that for himself.

                          I think of Frodo's comment on Saruman: "He is fallen, and his cure is beyond
                          us; but I would still spare him, in the hope that he may find it."

                          In the end, of course, Frodo's learning the meaning of Bilbo's pity has
                          tremendous effects on Gollum; and it is tremendously misleading for
                          Amateur-Film-Gandalf to say _only_ that he and Aragorn cannot heal Gollum.
                          But I see this as more a sin of omission than of commission.
                        • Doug Kane
                          I mostly agree with you, David. It is true that Gandalf doesn t say that he specifically can cure Gollum, but he does make it clear that humane treatment of
                          Message 12 of 13 , May 13, 2009
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                            I mostly agree with you, David. It is true that Gandalf doesn't say that he
                            specifically can cure Gollum, but he does make it clear that humane
                            treatment of Gollum might help facillitate his finding a cure. He tells
                            Frodo that not only did they not kill Gollum, but that the Wood-elves "treat
                            him with such kindness as they can find in their wise hearts." Later,
                            Legolas clarifies that this was partly because "Gandalf bade us hope still
                            for his cure." And, of course, Frodo takes Gandalf's words to him about
                            pitying Gollum to heart, and his kind treatment of Gollum due to his pity
                            for him was very much instrumental in Gollum's near-redemption (but for
                            Sam's failure to follow Frodo's lead in this, as Tolkien discusses in Letter
                            246). To me at least, all of this is contradicted at least in spirit by
                            Gandalf's flat statement in the "Hunt for Gollum" film that Gollum's
                            wretchedness was beyond their power to heal. It reminded me a little bit of
                            the argument between Frodo and Sam in the Jackson films in which it seems to
                            be implied that Frodo was deluded in believing that he could help Gollum,
                            and that Sam was correct in saying that there was no hope of Gollum ever
                            finding any redemption. (As an aside, the fact that in the films Frodo's
                            desire to help Gollum was actually based on his concern for himself rather
                            than actual pity for Gollum misses the point that Tolkien was making, but
                            that is another issue altogether.)

                            _____

                            From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                            David Bratman
                            Sent: Wednesday, May 13, 2009 8:30 PM
                            To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: Re: [mythsoc] "The Hunt for Gollum" movie





                            From: "Doug Kane" <dougkane@protecting
                            <mailto:dougkane%40protectingrights.net> rights.net> wrote:

                            >But at the end of the film, after Gollum is finally captured, Gandalf tells
                            >Aragorn that Gollum's wretchedness was beyond their power to heal. That
                            >contradicts what Gandalf actually says in the book, that there is not much
                            >hope for his cure, but there is still some.

                            I don't remember exactly what the film says, either, but I don't see those
                            two points as contradictory. Gandalf says that there is little hope, but
                            not no hope, that the evil part of Gollum can be cured; but he doesn't say
                            that he can cure him. Gollum has to do that for himself.

                            I think of Frodo's comment on Saruman: "He is fallen, and his cure is beyond

                            us; but I would still spare him, in the hope that he may find it."

                            In the end, of course, Frodo's learning the meaning of Bilbo's pity has
                            tremendous effects on Gollum; and it is tremendously misleading for
                            Amateur-Film-Gandalf to say _only_ that he and Aragorn cannot heal Gollum.
                            But I see this as more a sin of omission than of commission.






                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • David Bratman
                            ... It does, but I see it as more a contradiction in spirit than a change in the facts of the story. But this difference in our view of it is exceedingly
                            Message 13 of 13 , May 14, 2009
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                              "Doug Kane" <dougkane@...> wrote:

                              > I mostly agree with you, David. It is true that Gandalf doesn't say that
                              > he
                              > specifically can cure Gollum, but he does make it clear that humane
                              > treatment of Gollum might help facillitate his finding a cure. He tells
                              > Frodo that not only did they not kill Gollum, but that the Wood-elves
                              > "treat
                              > him with such kindness as they can find in their wise hearts." Later,
                              > Legolas clarifies that this was partly because "Gandalf bade us hope still
                              > for his cure." And, of course, Frodo takes Gandalf's words to him about
                              > pitying Gollum to heart, and his kind treatment of Gollum due to his pity
                              > for him was very much instrumental in Gollum's near-redemption (but for
                              > Sam's failure to follow Frodo's lead in this, as Tolkien discusses in
                              > Letter
                              > 246). To me at least, all of this is contradicted at least in spirit by
                              > Gandalf's flat statement in the "Hunt for Gollum" film that Gollum's
                              > wretchedness was beyond their power to heal.

                              It does, but I see it as more a contradiction in spirit than a change in the
                              facts of the story. But this difference in our view of it is exceedingly
                              minor, and rendered more perilous by the fact that neither of us remembers
                              the film's exact wording.

                              > It reminded me a little bit of
                              > the argument between Frodo and Sam in the Jackson films in which it seems
                              > to
                              > be implied that Frodo was deluded in believing that he could help Gollum,
                              > and that Sam was correct in saying that there was no hope of Gollum ever
                              > finding any redemption. (As an aside, the fact that in the films Frodo's
                              > desire to help Gollum was actually based on his concern for himself rather
                              > than actual pity for Gollum misses the point that Tolkien was making, but
                              > that is another issue altogether.)

                              Just one, or two, examples of Jackson's massive Not Getting It, so massive
                              as to render ludicrous any defense on the grounds that the deviations serve
                              the plot of the story he's trying to tell. If he's trying to tell a story
                              _that_ different from Tolkien's, it's a grave injury to pretend that it's
                              based on Tolkien's in any way, and an insult supreme to be as devoutly
                              copying of Tolkien as he was in more surface elements. When Tolkien had the
                              trees really march to war, he was _trying_ to thumb his nose at Shakespeare.
                              When Jackson thumbs his nose at Tolkien, and does so incompetently, he
                              doesn't have that excuse.
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